INTER - AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
COMISION INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS
COMISSÃO INTERAMERICANA DE DIREITOS HUMANOS
COMMISSION INTERAMÉRICAINE DES DROITS DE L'HOMME
ORGANIZACIÓN DE LOS ESTADOS AMERICANOS
WASHINGTON, D.C. 2 0 0 0 6 EEUU
March 2, 2011
Ref.:

Case No. 12.658
Luís Gonzalo “Richard” Vélez Restrepo and family
Colombia

Mr. Secretary:
I am pleased to address you on behalf of the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights in order to file Case No. 12.658, Luís Gonzalo “Richard” Vélez Restrepo and Family
v. the State of Colombia (hereinafter “the State,” “the Colombian State” or “Colombia”),
before the jurisdiction of the Honorable Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The case
refers to the attack by soldiers of the Colombian national army upon the journalist Luis
Gonzalo “Richard” Vélez Restrepo on August 29, 1996, while he was filming a
demonstration, in which that institution’s soldiers beat several of the demonstrators, facts
documented by journalist. These events were followed by death threats against journalist
Richard Vélez and his family, threats which intensified when Mr. Velez tried to boost the
judicial proceedings against his aggressors, and which caused his attempted abduction.
Because of this, on October 9, 1997, Mr. Vélez was exiled from Colombia. Currently,
Richard Vélez may not exercise his profession as journalist.
The State of Colombia ratified the American Convention on Human Rights
(hereinafter “the American Convention” or “the ACHR”) on July 31, 1973, and accepted the
contentious jurisdiction of the Court on June 21, 1985.
The Commission has designated Commissioner María Silvia Guillén Cardona,
Executive Secretary of the IACHR, Santiago A. Canton, and the Special Rapporteur on
Freedom of Expression, Catalina Botero, as its delegates. Likewise, Elizabeth Abi-Mershed,
Deputy Executive Secretary, and Silvia Serrano Guzmán and Michael Camilleri, will serve as
legal advisors.
In accordance with Article 35 of the Rules of Procedure of the Inter-American Court,
the Commission is enclosing with this communication a copy of Report 136/10 prepared in
accordance with Article 50 of the American Convention, as well as a copy of the entire file
before the Inter-American Commission (Appendix I) and the annexes used in drafting Report
136/10 (Annexes). Said merits report was notified to the Colombian State by means of
communication of December 2, 2010, granting it a two-month term to inform on the
implementation of the recommendations. The State requested an extension to provide such
information and the Commission granted a three week extension until February 22, 2011.
The State submitted its respective report and requested that the Commission issue a report
in accordance with article 51 of the Convention.
Mr.
Pablo Saavedra Alessandri, Secretary
Inter-American Court of Human Rights
P.O. Box 6906-1000

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